A contemporary account of tracking a historical explorer across Labrador.
In the mode of Leonidas Hubbard and William Cabot, Hesketh Prichard set out with a group of adventurers in the early 1900s, determined to cross Labrador. Disregarding local advice, his expedition headed up a box canyon and climbed five-hundred-metre cliffs all with a canoe in tow- a gruesome portage. The canoe was later abandoned.
The Lost Canoe is the account of the contemporary search for Prichard’s lost canoe. Over three summers Larry Coady coaxed friends and strangers into searching for Prichard’s canoe, retracing Prichard’s route, verifying landforms and campsites, and mapping the entire trail. Only hard-nosed hikers immune to blackflies and mosquitoes were enticed to participate. Prichard’s original 1910 photographs and accounts of his journey, published in Through Trackless Labrador, are paired with Coady’s own photographs and writings.
The narrative that results reveals a struggle against the elements to cross the ancient landscape of northern Labrador, a subarctic mix of boreal forest and open tundra. The book will appeal to a broad audience, from historians and geographers to adventurers and hikers.